Alyaksandr Atroshchankau got 15-day arrest for “contempt of court”

Youth activist of the campaign “European Belarus” Alyaksandr Atroshchankau is arrested for 15 days. He had trial in the Tsentralny district court of Minsk, where he was guarded to at 2.00 pm from the KGB Minsk and Minsk region directorate. He has already been guarded to a special detention center on Akrestin Street for serving punishment.

As Alyaksandr’s wife Darya said to the Charter’97 press center, he was called to the Mink and Minsk region KGB department in the frames of investigation over seizure of office equipment and private archives from Atroshchankau last autumn. A KGB investigator invited officers of the Tsentralny district militia department of Minsk to give explanations on the case. They came with a report on administrative offence, drawn up against Alyaksandr on 22 April in the court room on the Tsentralny district during reading of the sentence to participants of the trial of 14.

The democratic activist was accused of “insult” of judge Alena Illina<>, sentenced Andrei Kim to 1 ½ years in penal colony and other participants of the action of entrepreneurs, held in Minsk on 10 Janu/bary, to correctional labour and fines .

So, there was no proceeding on the case, on the base of which Alyaksandr Atroshchankau had been called to the KGB, and the activist was guarded to the Tsentralny district court of Minsk, where he was sentenced to 15-day arrest for “contempt of court” according to article 24.1 of the Administrative Code.

It should be noted that the KGB said on the request of Atroshchankau’s wife Darya “this citizen hadn’t entered the building today.” Only after Darya, with the help of lawyer Vera Stramkouskaya, filed a complaint a person disappeared, Lieutenant Colonel Raman Loznikau enters the KGB receiving room and said Alyaksandr Atroshchankau had been guarded to the Tsentralny district court of Minsk.

Darya thinks if she hadn’t filed a complaint, she might have known nothing about her husband’s destiny. “It seems to me they were just playing for time. How can KGB not to find a person for two hours? I was explained the situation only after I had filed a complaint on a missing person. Then a lieutenant colonel said Alyaksandr was in the Tsentralny district court. I hurried there but the judgement had been already delivered. The trial was conducted without a lawyer, without witnesses,” Darya told to the Charter’97 press center.

Alyaksandr Atroshcjankau’s story has aroused interest of both Belarusian and Russian media. In particular, popular Internet editions and Novaya Gazeta have reported about mysterious disappearance reported about it.

It should be reminded, ahead of the European March held in Minsk on 14 October 2007, militia and KGB officers rushed the apartment, rented by Alyaksandr Atroshchankau. Militia officers said there was a “dead body smell” in the apartment and neighbours had allegedly complained about it. As the result two computers and different archive materials were seized from him. Atroshchankau served an administrate arrest on a traditional accusation – “using of foul language in a public place.”

Atroshchankau has been gaining for returning the equipment to him. According to him, he wrote complaint to all possible agencies, including prosecutor’s office.

Today morning he went to the KGB Directorate to continue examination. In a little while he called his wife and the only thing he managed to say was: “Dasha, they are arresting me!” After that he was unavailable.

In about half an hour after the incident a well-known lawyer Vera Stramkouskaya managed to reach on the phone the KGB Directorate of Minsk and Minsk region. She was told that nobody called “Atroshchankau” had entered their building, and there are no entries about that in the register of the officer on duty.